This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Guerrilla Marketing" by Jay Conrad Levinson. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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Looking for some customer interaction examples? How does creating positive interactions improve your business?
Jay Conrad Levinson is a marketing expert who aims to show business owners inexpensive ways to boost their brand image. In his book, Guerrilla Marketing, Levinson illustrates examples of customer interactions that help to win over your target market.
Keep reading to find out Levinson’s four customer interaction examples, based on his book, Guerrilla Marketing.
Examples of Positive Customer Interactions
Marketing expert Jay Conrad Levinson claims that customers are more likely to think positively about and endorse businesses that they’ve personally engaged with than those that they’ve only seen advertisements for. In addition to using specific marketing channels to reach your target market, you can promote your business by facilitating interactions between your business and your target market. Levinson provides four customer interaction examples to illustrate this point.
(Shortform note: While Levinson claims that businesses should create positive interactions to win over customers, he doesn’t address how misunderstanding customer expectations can undermine your interaction efforts. Brand relationship experts have identified 29 different types of interactions that customers expect from a business—they use relationship metaphors such as “one-night stand” or “marriage” to clearly define each interaction. These experts argue that businesses can’t know what type of interactions customers perceive as positive until they’ve collected and analyzed the relationship signals customers send.)
Here are Levinson’s four examples of interacting with your customers to promote your business in a cost-effective way:
1. Provide an excellent after-sales service: This makes customers feel valued and encourages loyalty, positive publicity, and referrals. For example, Zappos benefits from rave reviews thanks to its 365-day return policy and its excellent customer service track record.
(Shortform note: Business experts expand on why you should pay as much attention to customers after they’ve completed a purchase as you do on attracting new customers. Satisfied customers provide four benefits: First, satisfied customers often become repeat customers and offer a reliable source of long-term revenue. Second, they provide positive reviews that bolster your reputation, thus attracting even more customers free of charge. Third, they’re more likely to offer feedback and a deeper understanding of their motivations, which helps you create a more effective marketing strategy. Fourth, they’re more likely to test or become early adopters of your newest products and services without additional effort on your part.)
2. Offer free samples, trial periods, and discounts: This gives potential customers a risk-free way to get to know your business and your products. For example, Evernote offers customers free basic plans to get to know the product before they attempt to upsell a variety of subscription plans with more advanced features.
(Shortform note: While it’s true that free samples, trial periods, and discounts offer a risk-free way to engage with your business, people are unlikely to sign up unless they feel like they need the benefits you’re offering. To provoke this feeling of need, the authors of Positioning suggest oversimplifying the value you intend to offer so that your customers can immediately understand the benefits they’ll receive. For example, if you offer a professional cleaning service, focus on a simple benefit your customers get from using your service—they get to come home and relax knowing that all of the chores have been taken care of.)
3. Get involved in community or charitable events: Community involvement is a good example of customer interaction because it garners positive publicity, increases your credibility, and bolsters the way customers perceive your business. For example, Adidas launched BOKS, a free physical activity program for kids of all ages and abilities. With over 10,000 global enrollments, the program makes a significant contribution to improving children’s health and simultaneously raises brand credibility.
(Shortform note: Marketing experts confirm that businesses boost brand awareness when they contribute to causes their customers care about. According to market trend reports, 63% of customers want to buy from socially responsible companies, and 54% of customers want to buy from companies that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities and workplaces. Generate ideas for cause or community-driven marketing campaigns by polling your target market about what matters most to them. Then, look for local charities or community programs that align with those issues and determine ways to help them. For example, to create the opportunity for customer interaction, arrange for team members to volunteer there or donate a percentage of your profits for new projects.)
4. Share resources with other businesses: This provides additional ideas, contacts, and cost-effective opportunities that help you reach your target market. For example, you own an offline store and want to facilitate customer interaction by designing and printing brochures for a direct mail campaign in your region. To keep your costs low, you arrange a deal with three other local businesses: You’ll include full-page ads for their businesses in your brochure and, in return, they’ll subsidize 30% of your marketing costs.
(Shortform note: Business experts refer to this type of business relationship as a strategic alliance. Osterwalder and Pigneur (Business Model Generation) distinguish between four different types of alliances: 1) alliances between non-competitors (eBay and Paypal), 2) alliances between competitors (Apple and Microsoft’s patent-licensing agreement), 3) joint alliances to develop new products and services (Ford and Toyota develop hybrid trucks), and 4) buyer-supplier alliances (Samsung supplies Apple). For marketing purposes, you’re more likely to create successful results if you focus on forming alliances with non-competitors.)
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- Why you don't need expensive mass-media marketing campaigns
- How to create a profitable marketing message and strategy
- How to define your target market and keep costs low